ACC Male Swimmer of the Week – Brady Fox (Virginia)
ACC Female Swimmer of the Week – Stephanie Sarandos (Florida State)
Double Trouble in Knoxville
The #12 Tennessee women and #15 Tennessee men pulled out a pair of big-time upset dual meet victories at their home pool over the weekend. The Volunteer men knocked of #10 Virginia 156-144, and the #12 Lady Vol’s took down their counterparts from Virginia, ranked #9, 166.5-132.5.
The Tennessee Men didn’t win this on the strength of individual events, as Virginia took 7 out of the 12 solo races. But Tennessee dominated both relay and both diving events, and 9 of 16 events overall, to take the victory. This meet looked ready for a Virginia win until, with 3 events to go, co-captain Michael Wright led a Tennessee sweep on the boards with a facility-record of 448.95 on the 3-meter. Sixteen big points put Tennessee right back in the hunt, and after a quick team meeting, Jake Epperson swam a gutsy 1:50.80 to win the 200 IM and put Tennessee firmly in the lead.
For Virginia, Scot Robison had an outstanding 100 free time to win in 44.29, though his 50 mark of 20.63 was less impressive. He has been experimenting with different third-events all season, and it seems more and more as though he is likely to add the 100 fly to his 100 and 200 free at NCAA’s.
The most exciting story of Virginia’s season thus far is the continued redevelopment of Brady Fox. For those who don’t recall, Fox was a top prospect coming out of high school before missing his entire freshman season with a rare degenerative back condition. At this meet, Fox won the 200 back in 1:48.52, which is second amongst all post-holiday times. Though not his best on the season (he is currently ranked 4th in the ACC), it has got to be a great feeling for Fox and Virginia that he was able to survive the grueling winter season and emerge still seemingly in positive health.
For the women, this was a momentous victory, as it marked the Lady Vols’ first victory against a top-10 opponent in the Matt Kredich era. This includes time with Tennessee legends Christine Magnuson and Michelle King on the squad.
In addition to making history with the win, Tennessee set two records in the process. Sophomore Kelsey Floyd, who is on track to be the next great Volunteer swimmer, set a new school record in the 200 fly at 1:56.68. Besides being a personal best mark, this also springboards her into the top 10 in the country. This was one of three victories on the day for Floyd, who also took wins in the 200 back (1:59.36) and 100 fly (53.56).
Freshman Lindsay Gendron seriously impressed for the Volunteers, as well, with a pool-record, career-best, and number 2 time in the nation of 9:45.71 in the 1000 free. Junior Jennifer Connolly set another pool record and season-best in the 100 back with her mark of 53.84.
For Virginia, Lauren Perdue kept plugging along, with 3 of Virginia’s 4 event wins. She took individual wins in the 50 (22.70), 100 (49.51) and 200(1:46.91) freestyles, and while none were her best times, they were all by far the best times nationally since the end of holiday training. Virginia’s only other win was in the 400 IM, where Claire Crippen (4:20.01) and Elizabeth Shaw (4:22.34) went 1-2.
Based on this performance, we may have underestimated our views of Tennessee in our NCAA Mid-Season Update, as they are now looking like strong contenders for a top 15 finish at NCAA’s.
Next up for Tennessee is their senior meets on January 22nd, when the women will host #2 ranked Georgia and the men will welcome #11 Georgia and #14 Indiana. Virginia’s next action will also be at home when they welcome ACC opponents North Carolina, who are ranked #12 (Men) and #11 (Women), respectively.
Full Results: Men | Women
Other ACC Results:
Florida State’s Rob Holderness swept the breaststroke events en route to a dominant 166.5-128.5 win over Georgia Tech…Stephanie Sarandos led the Lady Seminoles to a 181-111 victory over the Wramblin’ Wreck with three event victories, including a 2:04.78 in the 200 IM…The Maryland women took down Rutgers 180-119 in short course meters action. Annie Fittin had an impressive 57.49 (51.51 conv) in the 100 free, and Ginny Glover had a very solid 2:04.34 (1:51.41 conv) to take the 200…The Maryland men fell to cross-town rivals Navy 162-124. Navy had an impressive 100 fly from senior Roger Dent in 56.73 (50.83 conv), while Maryland was paced by two wins from Andrew Relihan.